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Something’s up with Miguel today and he’s playing recklessly, boldly. Breathitt’s pleased, so he obliges, feinting and opening a trap between rook and knight. Miguel takes it.

Breathitt looks over half-moons at his ten-year-old opponent, who looks back through horn-rims. He starts to close the trap, and two moves later realizes Miguel was waiting for that. In four more, half of Breathitt’s army will be gone.

He crooks a finger on a crosspiece and topples it, feeling a grin split his face. He lets the piece rest there, long after they’ve stood up and shaken hands. The idylls of a king.